My name is Vicki Offland and I have just arrived back in China from UK to work in the Zhuhai InternChina office for the next 6 months. This is my fourth visit to Mainland China (it’s great to be back!), but my first time in this beautiful city! I’m really looking forward to immersing myself in this fantastic culture again, improving my Mandarin skills and exploring new parts of China that I’ve yet to uncover. I have studied, travelled and taught English in China before, but this is my first time interning here, so my first blog is going look at five reasons why you should come carry out an internship in China.
- Enhance your CV
You will not only gain valuable work experience, but you will gain this experience in an international environment. You will be able to fill up your CV with new hard skills (Photoshop etc.), and your soft skills (teamwork, communication, independence) will develop more than you can imagine. Experience working abroad shows employers that you’re flexible and adaptable, you have the ability to network and work with people from all corners of the globe, and you’re capable of challenging yourself and taking risks in a foreign working environment. Doing business in China can be quite different, so working in a company in China will expose you to Chinese business etiquette and culture. Discussing your China adventures and experiences is a great talking point at interview!
In this day and age, networking is so important in business, especially in China where it is known as Guānxì (关系), it’s not always what you know, it’s who you know. Networking can be quite a difficult skill to master, so your internship will give you the chance to meet many people, sometimes in quite senior positions, from within the industry you’re working in and outside of it, giving you the opportunity to develop these skills. By the end of your internship you will hopefully have built a good network of professional relationships, and you never know when these contacts and business cards might come in handy in the future!
- Learn a new language
Mandarin is the most widely spoken language in the world (and also one of the hardest!), so being able to hold the most basic conversation in Chinese is a great asset and hugely impressive. Languages are hugely important in the global business environment and being able to speak, read or write Chinese will make you stand out. Whilst your internship might be in English you will be introduced to the language by your Chinese colleagues, friends and strangers on the street. You will be using your Chinese in day-to-day situations and you will be surprised at how quickly you can pick it up. After-all, they say the best way to learn a language is to immerse yourself in it!
- New Culture & Travel
One of the best parts of coming to China for an internship is that you get to experience a fascinating new culture, and learn things that you may not have the opportunity to at home. At first, it can be quite a culture-shock but once this is overcome it is so rewarding! You get the chance to learn and take part in things that you may never otherwise get the chance to back home (KungFu, Taiji, Calligraphy). China is home to some of the most beautiful and famous places and landscapes in the world; the Great Wall of China and Terracotta Warriors to name but a few. Local food in China is delicious (and nothing like you have ever tasted back home); there may even be the chance to learn to make some of your favourite dishes such as dumplings (饺子-jiǎozi). In China you will never be bored, there are always new things so see and do!
- Broaden your horizons & create memories
Travelling overseas, particularly to somewhere as far flung as China, you will meet, see, hear things that you have never experienced before; it can be an eye-opening experience! You will see daily-life, work-life and family-life from a first-hand perspective and realise how and why it differs so much from what we may otherwise be accustomed to.
I can assure you that you will return home from China with many stories, memories and a new outlook to share with everyone back home! I myself am still telling friends and family of “In China, this happened…” or “In China, they do this…”
If these reasons were enough to convince you to venture to China for an internship, then apply here